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UPDATE | 'No contact' health advisory on Eagle Harbor now extended to next week

The Kitsap Health District has extended their "no contact" health advisory for Eagle Harbor.

Pending a water sample to be tested Monday, district officials have now scheduled the advisory to be lifted Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Bainbridge Island officials reported a major sewer spill in Eagle Harbor occurred sometime after 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30.

The spill was a result of a break in the Highway 305 south sewer force main.

“It was interesting trying to pull staff in on a holiday weekend like that,” City Manager Doug Schulze told the city council Wednesday.

“But the crew members that were able to make it there, they did a fantastic job responding and getting the work done quickly.

Schulze said that 438,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into Eagle Harbor over the Labor Day weekend and was reported to the state Department of Ecology.

The break in the 12-inch sewer main was discovered Saturday at about 3:30 p.m. and prompted the closure of Eagle Harbor beaches. The bust occurred in a portion of the pipe not far from a previous pipe failure in 2009

The city’s public works department had a crew of nine employees complete repairs to the broken sewer main by 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Workers put a bypass line in place by 8 p.m. Saturday.

“Once the bypass was in, there wasn’t any additional flow going to the pipe,” Schulze said.

The flow that would normally go into the 12-inch main was sent through the bypass line to the lift station off of Olympic Drive, then pumped into tanker trucks.

Repair crews attempted to then make a repair to the actual pipe during low tide around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. However, the pipe was still about three feet under water.

Crew arrived on site again at 6 a.m. Sunday and had the repair completed and the shoreline restored by 10:30 a.m.

The cause of the break is still unknown.

The main, a 40-year-old cast iron pipe, did not appear to be degraded by salt water.

“The pipe ... when they uncovered it, actually appeared to be in pretty good shape,” Schulze said.

The main may have eroded from the inside out, he added.

The Kitsap Health District has issued a “no contact” health advisory for all of Eagle Harbor.

Until the advisory is lifted, the public is advised to avoid contact with water in Eagle Harbor and not harvest shellfish from beaches in the area. Officials said the advisory is scheduled to be lifted on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

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